Demolition work commences in £27 million redevelopment of company’s Wilnecote brickworks
FORTERRA have recently met the first milestone of their £27 million investment in Staffordshire with the start of demolition of their Wilnecote brick factory. Demolition of the 30-year-old facility will make way for a modernized factory, bringing it up to current standards of efficiency and sustainability.
The redevelopment project will include the installation of a new kiln, dryers, and handling equipment, allowing the factory to create a wider array of high-quality brick products, including increased production of the famous Staffordshire blue brick. These changes should allow the production of 35 million bricks a year, increasing productivity by around 40%.
It will also provide Forterra with further opportunities for new contracts within the commercial and specifications markets, including supplying materials for larger construction projects such as schools and hospitals.
Forterra chief executive Stephen Harrison said: ‘As one of Britain’s biggest manufacturers of building products, we endeavour to set the benchmark in terms of manufacturing efficiency, output, and sustainability.
‘In keeping with our strategic focus on manufacturing excellence, our new facility in Wilnecote will allow us to respond to the increasing demand for bricks as the rate of house building continues to accelerate nationwide and crucially balance this with a greater reach into the commercial and specifications markets.’
Demolition will take place in sections, with the final area of the factory expected to be demolished in December. It is anticipated that the factory will close for around nine months to allow for construction, with staff being redeployed to other locations until the upgraded factory re-opens at the end of 2023.
This is the second Forterra site to undergo substantial changes this year, as work is also ongoing at Desford, in Leicestershire, where a £95 million project will transform this facility into the largest and most energy-efficient brick factory in Europe, doubling its capacity to 180 million bricks annually.